Help Me Pick the Perfect Spot to Plant Blueberries

CreatedToCook(CA 10a/SunsetZn. 22)June 4, 2014

Hi Everyone,

I really want to grow blueberries in my Southern California Garden. I live about 6 miles from the beach. The spot in the yard where I would like to grow the blueberries in the front yard. It's an area that faces South, so it gets all day direct sun.

I would also like to grow in directly in the ground, but since I keep reading that this is not advised, unless I have
really great acidic soil, I am wondering if I can grow it in a pot set into the ground. So I can get the look of if being
grown in the ground, but can still have some more control of the soil conditions to keep the blueberry plants happy.

My dream is to create a Kitchen Garden, in the front of the house. I want the area to be both beautiful look look at and full of edible plants. I would like to Espalier a Meyer Lemon and a Kishu Mandarine Orange tree against the short wall. In front of the espalier citrus trees, I want to grow blueberries and white iceberg roses, and lots of herbs.

If you have any thoughts, ideas, or plant suggestions, please send them my way. I would love to hear from you all!

I've attached a picture of the area. I know it looks rather sad right now, but that's why I need your help. I want to change that, and make it a happy garden.

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

You realize out front the fruit might get picked by passers-by?

Other than that, that spot will be fine. The hybrids recommended for our area are heat lovers. Amend the whole area with either peat or camellia/azalea mix. Give the plants light doses of soil sulfur twice a year, spring and fall, according to package directions. Fertilize in late August because they push out their new foliage in September. Keep the soil always moist, but never soggy. As soon as berries form in late winter, net them if you don't want the birds to get them all.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 3:47PM
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CreatedToCook(CA 10a/SunsetZn. 22)

Thank you!

I just found a newer variety at The Plant Depot yesterday called Brazel Berries "Peach Sorbet". The berries had the most wonderful flavor. The best of all the varieties I've tasted so far: O'Neals, Misty, and Jubilee. I have not had a chance to taste, Sharp Blue. The berries on Sharp Blue were not ripe yet, but all the Sharp Blue Plants were loaded with berries. I'm really wondering if I should go back an get grab a couple of those plants too.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:06PM
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akarinz

Blueberries are difficult to grow in the ground. I grow mine in containers. Check out Dave Wilson's site.

For some reason it won't take the link, so you can copy/paste from here:

http://davewilson.com/home-gardens/growing-fruits-and-nuts/vine-and-bush-fruits/blueberries-containers

Karin

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 4:31PM
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lgteacher(SCal)

An oak barrel - or even a faux oak barrel - Is perfect for blueberries. You can put 3 plants in one standard sized barrel. I see no reason to sink it into the ground. The change of level will add interest. You can plant herbs around the barrel, perhaps putting some stepping stones around the barrel so you can pick the berries without stepping on the other plants. The barrel should not be too close to the sidewalk for reasons mentioned above. At some point, you may have to net the berries, or birds may eat them before you get to them.

The fence is quite low, so if you plan to espalier, you will have to add a trellis or something for support.

Basil is an annual. Tarragon dies out in the winter, but regrows. parsley can last a few years, as can chives. Rosemary is a perennial shrub and can get large if not pruned regularly. Sage is drought tolerant and basil likes more water, so don't plant them next to each other.

Good luck with you edible landscape. One of my neighbors has a pomegranate tree and artichokes in the strip next to the driveway. The tomatoes are farther back where they can't be seen from the street.

Here is a link that might be useful: What's Growin' On?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 6:24PM
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CreatedToCook(CA 10a/SunsetZn. 22)

lgteacher:

Thank you for your great ideas and insight on planting. I did not know basil and Sage should not be planted together. That's probably why my sage didn't do so well. I gotta go look for the oak barrel. I think I may have seen one at Costco... hopefully they still have them.

If you can, could you snap a few pictures of your neighbor's garden? I would love to see how it looks. I've also, considered growing a pomegranate tree. And artichokes have huge gorgeous violet purple flowers.

Do you happen to know if I need to have 2 different varieties of blueberries, for more production, or can I just have 2 of the same variety? Right now I have 2 "Peach Sorbet", but I'm wondering if I should go back and pick up a "Sunshine Blue" also. They're kinda pricey at $35 each so I was trying to start with just 2 and see how they do for me.

Karin: Thank you for the helpful link.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:39PM
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lgteacher(SCal)

Yes, two varieties of blueberry are recommended for better fruit production. If you go to the Dave Wilson site mentioned above, there is a wealth of information. Thyme is another herb you should consider. It's great for chicken and other dishes, grows low to the ground, needs little water, and lasts several years in our mild climate.

I got a Jubilee blueberry on sale for half price last year, and it's bearing a lot of fruit. Keep your eyes open for sales.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:59PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I grow mine in the ground without a problem.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:38AM
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CreatedToCook(CA 10a/SunsetZn. 22)

Hoovb:
What kind of soil mix did you use?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:24PM
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